‘Finally got suspicious;’ Local bank saves woman thousands amid romance scam

MIAMI COUNTY — The National Retail Federation expects people to spend a record number of $14.2 billion this Valentine’s Day and scammers will be out looking for a piece of it.

As reported by Taylor Robertson on News Center 7 at 6:00, employees with Monroe Federal in Tipp City recently saved a woman from losing thousands of dollars to someone she thought was an online lover.

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The woman showed up at Monroe Federal with a $30,000 cashier check and wanted to cash it.

The employees later found out that the woman was going to put the money in a brown paper bag and drop it off at a Speedway across the street.

The bank didn’t fully realize what was going on until the Tipp City police came in with the woman.

“Thank God she finally got suspicious about what was going on,” Monroe Federal Vice President of Retail Curt Conley said.

Conley said the woman is in her 70s and was in a relationship with a man online who claimed he was from Canada.

When she first came into the bank, she was trying to wire the guy $1,500.

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“At that time, she didn’t know who she was sending the wire to. So that seemed a little suspicious to us,” Conley said.

The bank didn’t wire the money, so the next day she came back with a $30,000 cashier’s check.

“The more we talked to her, the more we could tell she was being scammed,” Conley said.

Better Business Bureau representative Sheri Sword said these types of romance scams are big business for scammers.

“I can tell you that the FBI in 2022 had reports of over 19,000 victims losing more than $730 million to romance scams,” Sword said.

This goes for fake florists and jewelry scams, too.

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Sword said before ordering flowers or jewelry for someone special, do your research.

“You really want to go through and check it out, ask around ask friends and family who they used to send flowers to find out what their satisfaction guarantee policy is and what the refund policy is if you do have problems,” Sword said.

Don’t be afraid to say no to someone who is asking you to send them money.

“It’s really important to be sure to protect yourself,” Sword said.

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